“Keep a level head, don’t let them see you get emotional.” “Don’t walk alone at night, you’re almost certain to get abducted.” “Make your achievements in silence so you don’t anger the boys.” “If he bullies you, that means he likes you.” “If you were a man, I’d have to pay you more – good thing you’re not right?” “Smile sweetheart – you’ll be prettier.”
When I think about what it’s like to be a woman, often these little phrases pop into my head. These are things that have been said to me over time. Often they are attempts to be helpful suggestion. Sometimes they are “harmless jokes.” All of the time, they are met with a faked smile and attempts to brush it off like it’s nothing. I think it’s a safe bet that every woman reading this has experienced something very similar and they can sympathize.
This is as bad as it’s going to get for me. I could never even begin to put myself in the shoes of women across the world who experience things so differently than I do. I live in a land of “opportunity”. Opportunity that so many strong and courageous women before me have fought for. From before the suffragettes marching in New York in 1908 demanding better hours and pay along with the right to vote, to today where we can follow our favorite women’s activists, female politicians, scientists, artists, poets, or whoever inspires us on social media – we women have a voice that continues to be heard all over the world. I understand though, it’s hard to change a societal mentality that has roots buried deep in a patriarchal history. I like to think that everyday we get a little bit better at it, and for that I am so thankful. The progress is slow, but it’s still progress.
Every single women in my eyes is a strong fighter. She’s a daughter, a mother, sister, best friend, confidant. She can be a force to be reckoned with on the business front and makes the family work like a well oiled machine often behind the scenes. When I think about it, a woman’s day to day (often monotonous) trudge is amazing with the amount of things she silently accomplishes. But this isn’t just for recognizing my local gals. This is to recognize the women of the world. There are so many differences in the multitude of societies our world has, and women play such a beautiful and graceful role in the progress of those societies.
March 8th, 2016 is International Woman’s Day. A day that is an internationally celebrated holiday recognizing the achievements of women throughout history and with that comes events across the world to shed the light on gender parity.
From the International Women’s Day website: International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. International Women’s Day is all about celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for over a century – and is growing annually from strength to strength.
This is a wonderful time to reflect on our history, and what history will be made as we continue to change the world and make it a better place for women and girls all over the world. Its a day to celebrate wonderful women like Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who fights for women’s right to an education, even after being shot in the head by the Taliban because of her message. Or to celebrate women like the most educated First Lady in American history Michelle Obama, who also works hard to open doors for girls all over the world to gain an education. It’s a day to celebrate women who largely go unnamed and fight on a microcosmic scale but make large impacts to their families and communities, like the wonderful women of the Gulabi Gang in India who fight against domestic violence.
TisBest is partnered with a number of wonderful charities that focus on bringing help, education, and empowerment to women across the world. Checkout our entire list of charities that work to support women and girls.
This list includes great charities like:
- Global Fund for Women – who fights to bring women’s human rights to all corners of the globe.
- Girls Inc.– Who inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold
- Women for Women International – Who believe strong women help build strong nations
- and so many inspiring and empowering charities!
For every women out there, happy International Women’s Day. You are stronger than you know. You are all so capable of great things. It is because of you, that a young designer in Seattle can look forward to what the future holds for women everywhere tomorrow, months, and years down the road.